A late harvest, an upcoming festival and a proposed tax abatement dominated the the North Branford Agriculture Commission's monthly meeting on July 11. The commission met to discuss town business and items affecting farmers throughout the town.
Heading into peak harvesting season for local farms, it's apparent that corn is two weeks late this season, not only in town, but all over the state, due to the rainy weather earlier this season, commission members said. Farmers have been filling their stands with other locally grown fruits and vegetables while waiting for the corn, as consumers and town residents prefer fresh local foods rather than buying at the major grocery chains.
“We are working 14-hour days right now, this is our busy season,” said Joe DeFranceso, of Farms, which also offers a .
will celebrate 365 years of farming on Saturday, July 23 with fun planned throughout the day along with Country 92.5 radio broadcasting live.
With the about three weeks away–on Aug. , and –and final plans getting the finishing touches now, the commission continues to work with farmers and other town departments as in years past to make the event a town tradition.
This year’s Potato Festival will feature extra signage for the many who flock to the three-day event for easy in-and-out, and the spectator favorite–the tractor pull–will be back. Before Big Shot's performance on Sunday, Aug. 7, North Branford Patch and the will crown the Royal Patch Court, including King and Queen Corn and Prince and Princess Potato. Find out how to submit your nomination .
This year has an extra emphasis on the farming theme, which will be very apparent as behind the festivities looms an important decision for the Town of North Branford as it considers a tax abatement proposal for farmer’s buildings on their land. If passed, this would allow for those building to be taxed at a lower rate than typical.
With farming being a lifeblood of the town for hundreds of years, at issue is the cost of such abatement to the town–estimated at $18,000 per year vs. farmers who could sell their land for development for large profits, which could bring influx of population on town services and the school system.
A similar plan has already been adopted and in place for years by surrounding towns where farming is a major factor, with only North Branford having never passed the proposal.
The topic is up for public comment at tonight's (July 12) meeting, which is at 7:30 p.m. at .